Fans will inevitably complain that Clutch’s 13th full-length, and first in almost 4 years, also happens to be their shortest to date. But in the case of Sunrise Of Slaughter Beach, the Maryland natives forego what’s expected and lean into a “quality over quantity” approach to bring listeners nine tracks of some of the best, and easily most diverse, Clutch music of their 30+ year career.
After hearing Sunrise On Slaughter Beach through a few times it’s safe to say that, barring “Slaughter Beach”, the songs released to the masses thus far are by no means an indicator of what to expect within… except for the fact that, as always, Clutch bring the RAWK! Sunrise… is indeed probably one of Clutch’s most guitar-driven releases since Impetus yet a wholly different beast than that classic EP. Different even than their more Blues-soaked offerings which started as far back as 1995’s self-titled classic and has become ingrained in the band’s musical DNA to this day.
But I digress!
“Red Alert (Boss Level Zone)” is kinda Clutch’s version of a paint-by-numbers. It’s a great opener, a great reintroduction and flows nicely off of Book of Bad Decisions and Psychic Warfare as “Slaughter Beach” gives big hints of what’s to come with the sonic might of Dan Maines, Tim Sult, Jean-Paul Gaster, and Neil Fallon laying in some Sludge that’s more in line with Lo-Pan than Lynyrd Skynyrd. Whether it’s his lyrics or his delivery, Fallon has always been an exciting vocalist and easily enthralls and entertains audiences to no end and on Sunrise… he’s on a whole ‘nother level especially with Frenchie Davis and Deborah Bond adding divine back-up vox that enhance his familiar pipes.
Also on a whole ‘nother level? Sult, who works his guitar into a gotdamn frenzy on the beyond majestic “Mountain Of Bone” that also features Maines and Gaster’s rhythmic rumblin’ sounding especially sweet. “Nosferatu Madre” follows the “tip it all on its’ head” motif that seems to be an album number thirteen constant with a booming rawker while “Mercy Brown” gets even weirder! After an eerie intro, listeners are treated to Fallon stretching ye olde vocal chops even more with those aforementioned back-up’s from Davis and Bond creating an ethereal glow overall on this ghostly track.
“Skeletons on Mars” is a trippy, spaced-out driven ditty with “Three Golden Horns” warning that “Jazz music corrupts our youth” and then proceeds to get into some righteous RIFFAGE but before that, “We Strive For Excellence” produced a grand Clutch sonic palette cleanser that’d be at home on any of their releases and creates a nice build up towards closer “Jackhammer Our Names” which is a quieter, but no less potent, track to close out the record amidst J. Robbins’ theremin adding some haunting atmosphere before the end comes.
Sunrise On Slaughter Beach arrives on September 16th through Weathermaker Music. Pre-orders are up now and can be perused, purchased, or pre-saved in a variety of formats when you head here. For the latest on Clutch, including a full list of their upcoming headlining dates with Quicksand and Helmet in tow, follow them across the information superhighway by clicking here, here, or here.